Every year, thousands of applicants throughout the state take the civil service exam, but only a few make it! So, how do you improve your chances of passing the exam?
Before you even begin preparing for the exam, go over the official Notice of Examination (NOE) that states the required qualification, exam due dates, filing period and the duties of the job you’re applying for.
You also need to keep in mind that there isn’t a singular civil service exam for all government jobs in the U.S.; instead, the exams are tailored to the requirements of the job.
Let’s go over some preparation tips that’ll help you ace your civil service exam and land your dream job:
1. Read; Don’t Memorize
Since most civil service exams are based on multiple choice questions, your goal with exam prep is to build up your stock knowledge. Your strategy should be to familiarize yourself with key concepts.
Plus, since the exam questions change every exam, memorizing the answers to questions from the previous exams might just be a waste of time.
2. Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Take a practice test for an honest assessment of your skills. Figure out the areas you’re good at, and the areas you need to improve on.
Are you struggling with verbal analogies? Do percentage problems and logical puzzles throw you off? Once you have an idea of your weak areas, concentrate on those areas and devote extra time to perfect them.
3. Form a Study Group
Studying alone can lead to a lot of procrastination! Find out who among your co-workers or classmates is taking the test and invite them for a study group.
Since study groups meet at regular times and require you to contribute to the study session, you’ll stay on top of the study material. Plus, since everyone has unique insights and individual talents, group members learn a lot from one another; they bounce ideas off each other and get to a solution faster, instead of spending valuable time puzzling over a difficult question alone.
4. Enroll In an Exam Prep Course
Exam workshops and classes provide a compilation of basic concepts that you may need to re-learn for the exam, in addition to some practice tests and exercises to work on; so it’s always a good idea to enroll in a crash course before the exam—especially if you’re pressed for time.